I'm surprised to have found this interactive tool which portends to be the way of the future of democracy. According to the tool, I solved the federal budget deficit with a combination of tax increases (31%) and spending cuts (69%). It took all of ten minutes.
There are a number of problems with the tool, but those problems could be worked out with a little bit of elbow grease. This is probably the single greatest thing the NYT has done in the past 5 years. Note their qualifications:
Notes: These suggested cuts would need to be implemented gradually over the next 20 years, some taking effect well before 2030 in order to keep the deficit, and thus interest payments on the national debt, at a manageable level between now and 2030. All figures are adjusted for projected inflation and expressed in terms of 2010 dollars. The baseline for this exercise assumes that all current policies continue, even those scheduled to expire, like the Bush tax cuts.
By SHAN CARTER, MATTHEW ERICSON, DAVID LEONHARDT, BILL MARSH and KEVIN QUEALY/The New York Times |
Sources: New York Times analysis of data provided by Alan Auerbach and William Gale; Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; Tax Policy Center; Congressional Budget Office; Sustainable Defense Task Force; Cato Institute; Economic Policy Institute; National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; Joint Committee on Taxation; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Social Security Administration
What they failed to do is to provide briefing statistics for each of the decision points in the mix. If they had done so, this would have given a complete interactive tool for distribution. Nice job though.